Here is a personal update from Julie who is still in Malawi due to losing her wallet with Passport in it.
Hello friends and family. It has been a busy week since I lost my wallet last Saturday. I am taking the day today to catch up on work and write an update on my Passport.
At the end of the day on Saturday, May 26 I realised I didn’t have my wallet on me. After retracing my steps, I came to conclude that whether I dropped it, it fell off my lap getting out of the car, or I left it behind somewhere … someone seized the opportunity to pinch it, rather than turn it in.
On Sunday I reported it and gave my statement to the local police department. I was told the report would be ready for pick up in 7 days. I strongly requested to have it ready for Monday morning.. They insisted it would take 7 days, or it would cost more to have it done sooner. Either way, they insisted on 7 days.
Through different personal connections that our Malawian partner Daniel and I have in the country, I was able to accomplish a number of things I couldn’t have otherwise done myself. I was quickly and easily connected with the Canadian Embassy in Mozambique, where I have been given a wonderful case worker that has sped me through the processes to apply for a new passport. He helped me weigh the pros and cons of the different options available to me. Due to the fact that the Canadian Embassy is in another country, things take longer to sort through. Some options would quite possibly have expired before I would be in the air on my last leg of flying home, leaving me stranded in another country. I’d much prefer to be here in Malawi than a foreign country with no help - it’s like home here in Malawi, for me.
Daniel was an integral part of all of things working smoothly, and quite effortlessly on my part. One such example is that I needed a guarantor, who’s office we couldn’t find. There are no street names in the city. Directions are giving by landmarks. We were told the office was near a bank (so Dan called his accountant friend who would know many of the bank locations), near a nurse’s college (so Dan called his medical friend), near a store that sells auto parts (so Dan called his mechanic friend), until he got through to one and found the Lawyer’s office. Documents needed downloading and transferring to a USB to be printed. Dan made use of our lunch hour on Sunday to print them by asking the florist shop in the complex to help us out. One resourceful man!
After couriering my documents off to Mozambique I headed north again. But this required me to have the police report on hand. Again, due to good connections, someone with some clout, went on my behalf to the police station to insist that it be done in the appropriately required time of 1 day. Next glitch: the police lost my statement … to which I wholeheartedly chuckled.
I’m now safely back in the north, enjoying surprising my friends with my presence, and delighting in their company and hospitality.
I have received word just yesterday (Friday) that my new passport has been approved and is being expedited as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that four countries are involved. As an example: I couriered my documents and paperwork from Malawi to Mozambique. When I tracked my package online, I noted it went through South Africa first. There are no direct flights between Mozambique and Malawi. I will be here for approximately another week or two as I wait for my passport to travel from Canada to South Africa to Mozambique to South Africa to Malawi. Life is good! I will then have to find an immigration office in Malawi to replace my multi-entry Malawian Visa. Then … on a plane to my family - likely the day after all of this process. :)
I believe fully that this has happened with God being able to use it for His purpose. My faith gives me the confidence to trust that God knew this would happen, and I can do nothing but trust Him in it. Interestingly, I had acutally had an opportunity to leave a couple of days ahead of my scheduled flight to join my sister in another part of Africa. For a number of important factors, it wasn’t the right timing, and both she and I individually discerned this, it was quite interesting to both of us that it just didn’t “feel” right. If I had gone, I’d have left Malawi the day before I actually lost my passport. Which makes it seem like perhaps it would have been the right decision to leave Malawi early to meet up with her. But, I rest in knowing that she and I both discerned it didn’t “feel” right. To which I again can say, I believe I’m here for a purpose. Whether I ever see its purpose or not, is not important. I am safe, I have food to eat, shelter to live in, water to drink, and my health, which is a stark difference from the millions around me. This has been nothing more than a mere nuisance in comparison. For, it is well with my soul. And if it is well with my soul, then it is well … period.
I miss my friends and family and really look forward to being home again soon. I will have a very quick turn-around time for my second trip of 2018. I’ll be back mid-July with a group of 5. I’m excited for this opportunity, as there are 3 young teens who are a part of this group. What a fantastic time of life to experience a part of the world most never see. There is so much to learn from our Malawian friends here.
Know that I am very safe and being well taken care of, as though I am family. I am at peace in this. Malawi has its difficulties for sure. So does Canada. And, Malawi is lovingly named by Africans as “The Warm Heart of Africa”. I have lived in its love since I first stepped foot on its soil years ago, and continue to, with ease and peace.
Much love everyone! Thanks for your prayers and concerns for me. Please remember my friends in Luhomero who are in far greater need: of a life that is filled with hope, full tummies, roofs that don’t leak, clean water, health … and of course … a proper place to poop. :) Their needs are far greater than my inconvenience of a lost passport.
Much love and joy,
PS - Please accept my apologies for not responding personally if you have emailed me. Connection is not always reliable and it has been quite busy for me. Let’s connect when I’m back in Canada.